England have 'massive problems' without Ben Stokes, says Kevin Pietersen
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 15/10/17 4:03pm
Kevin Pietersen believes England will have "massive problems" if Ben Stokes is unable to take part in the upcoming Ashes series.
Stokes was included in England's 17-man squad for the five-Test series although the ECB have confirmed the all-rounder won't travel to Australia while he remains under police investigation on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.
Steven Finn was called up to the squad on Friday morning as cover with Stokes' participation in doubt and Pietersen expects England to struggle without the 26-year-old.
When asked how important Stokes is for England, Pietersen said: "Massive. He's a three-part player. He's a bowler, he's a batter and he catches at first slip off the spinner. He's a wonderful fielder as well.
"He just galvanises that team and gives them a lot of energy. Because the top order is so weak, you need Stokes in that set-up.
"Stokes, [Jonny] Bairstow, [Moeen] Ali - they do so much of the hard yards, especially when they're batting because of how weak the top order is.
"If he doesn't go, England have massive, massive problems."